Offside! NPL opener in Mokokchung cancelled
DIMAPUR, SEPTember 21
The opening match of the second season of Nagaland Premier League in Mokokchung was reduced to a “mis-kick” on Saturday even as the scheduled match between home team Sangpang FC and United Redskin FC failed to take place, because of what the NPL management called as “technicality difficulties” between the NPL office and the Mokokchung District Football Association.A press statement from 442 management, the group behind NPL, said that the scheduled match “was deterred today and rescheduled by the NPL League commissioner based on technicality differences between Nagaland Premier League office and the Mokokchung District Football Association on the refusal of releasing referees to officiate in the match.”
“The non releasing of Mokokchung referees to officiate in the NPL was from the directive of the Mokokchung District Football Association. After failed discussions, since the Mokokchung referees could not officiate, the match had to be abandoned. The reason behind the non releasing of referees by MDFA is non concrete (and) will be discussed at the governing council meeting,” the statement read.The fate of “NPL Mokokchung” would be known after the NPL governnong council meeting, it said. “However, as of now, the other fixtures in Mokokchung will kick off as scheduled from Matchday 2.”
“442 management would like to inform all fans and football lovers in Mokokchung that the Management had chosen Mokokchung as a venue for NPL matches because of the passion and the essence of the beautiful city and we would still love to continue the relationship. However we are not here to be at loggerheads with any football developmental associations, organizations etc so we will put football at the forefront and discuss with all parties without politicizing it,” it said.
The management also apologized to the fans and appreciated the support shown by the “Mokokchung football fans.”
Meanwhile, MDFA sources told Eastern Mirror on Saturday evening that the core issue behind Saturday’s incident was the oncoming annual MDFA trophy scheduled to be held on October 8 next.
“For the last 19 years, we have been organizing the MDFA trophy in the month of October every year. So there is a clash of schedule. And we were not consulted in whatsoever manner,” the MDFA official said.
On the reported refusal to depute referees for NPL matches, the MDFA source said that there has been no official intimation of the same to the MDFA from the NPL office. “We regret that it has come to this. Prior communication would have solved this kind of problems,” he lamented.
The MDFA would convene a meeting on Sunday to discuss the latest development, he added.
Holders Barak FC saunter past Dynamic FC
DIMAPUR, SEPT 21
Defending champions Barak FC from Peren strolled to a 4-2 win over Dimapur’s Dynamic FC in the opening encounter of NPL season 2 played in Dimapur at DDSC stadium on Saturday. The score-line, in the end, proved to be a gross flattery of Dynamic FC.
To put it in context, both the goals for Dynamic FC arrived only within the last 4 minutes of regulation time. Conversely, the champions had plundered all of their goals by the time the play crossed a little over the hour mark.
As was the case in the previous season, Barak’s attacking midfielder, Asian, was the chief tormenter once again even as he hit a brace on Saturday. Both of his goals came in the second half of the match, in the 50th and the 64th minute respectively.
But it was fellow attacker Khaunjang, who stole the show with a sumptuous goal to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute. Barak broke down the right, in yet another assault, and the ball was rolled into the path of the on-rushing Khaunjang outside the area.
Without breaking his stride, Khaunjang curled the ball deliciously, one-touch, into the top-right corner of the goal past the keeper.
Comedy followed the exquisitely crafted goal. At least four Barak players were caught out of position while they were busy quenching their thirst near the sideline close to their team hut, when the referee blew the whistle to resume play after the goal.
Dynamic, looking to take advantage of idiotic run of play- even more compounded by the fact that the Barak manager himself was busy hurling bottled water to his players- broke down the opposite flank fast and almost equalized immediately.
After beating the keeper, the ball struck the upright and rolled off before the embarrassed defenders arrived and clunked it to safety. It was tantalizingly close for Dynamic FC. Soon the champions would double the lead, in the 46th minute through the boots of Maseu Beibou.
There would be no respite for the Dynamic players after the interval. Last season’s star player for Barak FC, Asian, decided to announce himself in the match as play resumed after the break.
Into the fourth minute of the second half, Asian found the net. Fourteen minutes later, a neat exchange of passes down the left flank ended with Asian once again firing the ball past the Dynamic goal.
It took 86 minutes for Dynamic FC to open their account through the boots of Rajesh who fired a low drive from the inside the box past the Barak goal. Meren’s goal in the final minute of regulation time was only of academic interest for Dynamic FC.
Barak’s new signing, centre-back Rojit was booked in the 15th minute for using abusive language.
Dimapur United beat Doyang FC in a thriller
Dimapur: A late onslaught could not prevent a defeat for Doyang FC from the hands of local team, Dimapur United here Saturday at the DDSC stadium. The visitors, widely lauded for their refusal to sign outside players in order to promote local players, lost the match 2-3 after conceding two penalties in either half of the match.
Branded the Blue Assassins, despite their red and white jersey, the Doyang players managed to come up with fitting response to each onslaught from their more vaunted opponents until they were cruelly penalized by the referee for what appeared to be a handball inside the area.
From point blank range, the Doyang defender had no way of avoiding the ball hitting his hand but the referee, after consulting his assistant, pointed to the spot in the 22nd minute of play. Striker Lalboi’s spot kick was blocked brilliantly by the goalie but Lalboi pounced on to the rebound to hit the ball into an empty net.
Doyang could not take their chances and they paid for it in the 41st minute. Dimpaur United’s Moi was presented with an empty net after a horrible mistake in the Doyang backline and he doubled the lead.
Doyang striker William reduced the deficit in the 46th minute. After the interval, Doyang attacked with purpose and put their opponents on the back foot. Fortune once again frowned upon the Doyang players in the 70th minute when Santosh brought down Lalboi in the box and referee awarded a penalty.
Ajnagpu made no mistake with the spot kick and Dimapur United had a 2-goal cushion. But not for long. Two minutes later, William got his and Doyang’s second-triggering a late onslaught, and equally desperate defending, in the last fifteen minutes of the game.
Lalboi of Dimapur United and Thungchibemo of Doyang FC were booked.
Kohima Komets and Veda FC earn full points
Kohima, Sept 21
Kohima Komets and Veda FC won their respective matches of the inaugural 2nd Nagaland Premier League (NPL) today at Indira Gandhi Stadium here Kohima.
Kohima Komets defeated Zonipang Sporting Association 3-0. Kohima Komets opened the score sheet through the talented left back Salym, this was doubled by the lanky striker Kiwi. The lead was further stretched in the first half by Yhunshalo. By this time the match was done and dusted however Zonipang did try in the second half to come back. This however does not diminish the strength of their team.
Playing the second match, new boys Veda FC won the match by 2 goals to 1 against Naga Tornadoes. The ball possession was dominated by Tornadoes but they did miss a lot of chances. Veda FC opened the scoring through a brilliant counter strike and finished sublimely by the Bulldozer Rhitso. This was their first chance and they capitalized because of the wastage of Tornadoes.
The second goal came through the spot kick from Johny and Veda FC took the lead by two goals. Tornadoes got their hard-work paid off through a brilliant goal from Tiayanger. They could have equalised through an indirect free-kick awarded inside the box but to no avail and losing the game.